Scorum Rating Review
|Start ICO||13 Jan 2018|
|End ICO||10 Feb 2018|
We have reviewed the project's progress as of February 2019 and would like to note that the progress of the project is difficult to track and very unclear, the team answers to questions about progress are very generic and vague. Therefore, the project's rating has been decreased to Risky.
Scorum is a platform for sports blogs, users of which can earn not only by publication of original content but also by active discussion and voting. The main idea is borrowed from the Steemit project, but the emission of SCR tokens will be limited, and the project’s functionality will be more diverse.
The team, in our opinion, has all the necessary skills for the implementation of the ideas, and the volume of the potential market can enable it to achieve desired levels of visits.
Nevertheless, we believe that the hard cap of $17 million is significantly overstated for the implementation of the service, the basic model of which has already been invented and needs only refinement. The need for this amount, in our opinion is not justified, and forecasts for the financial and economic models of the future functioning of the website are not presented, which may negatively affect the fundamental value of SCR tokens.
In addition, the betting functionality of the platform carries additional risks associated with strict legislation in this area in almost all countries, which prevents us giving the Scorum project a higher rating.
General information about the Project and ICO
Scorum is a project for a sports-themed blog platform, expanded with additional functions in the form of a stats center, a betting exchange and fantasy sports league. The main idea for the platform is borrowed from the Steemit project, and Scorum users will receive rewards for created content such as posted articles and photos on various sports, and readers can earn for updates and comments.
The stats center was conceived to simplify the creation of high-quality sports content that will allow authors to conveniently use stats, analytics, photos and interactive visualizations in their articles, and readers will be able to find results for their favorite teams and players.
A betting exchange will also be available on the portal, where users can bet on sports results competitions without intermediaries.
The system for user remuneration on the blog platform is built on blockchain technology; it will function through two types of tokens - Scorum Coins (SCR), which will be sold during the ICO as well as Scorum Power (SP) which will have an exclusively infrastructural role and will be used for the interaction of participants within the system. The key difference between Scorum and Steemit’s economies is the fact that the emission of SCR and SP tokens is strictly limited to a predetermined amount.
The Scorum company was founded in 2017, and their R&D center is located in Minsk (Belarus.) All countries can participate in the ICO, including citizens of the United States; a legal opinion that SCR tokens are not securities is available on the website.
ICO start date: January 14, 2018
ICO duration: 28 days
Price: 1 SCR = 0.75 – 1 USD
Hard cap: 17,000,000 USD
Soft cap: not defined
Total emission: 20,000,000 SCR. All SCR tokens that have not been sold during crowdsale will be converted to SP.
930,000 SCR is available for affiliates that attract buyers to the crowdsale. Each participant of the program will have a unique referral code which tracks attracted Scorum Coins customers. The affiliate receives SCR to the amount of 5% of the purchase amount from the funds allocated for this program. Tokens not distributed within this program will be burned.
1,600,000 SCR at the rate SCR = $0.5. A total of 800,000 - 50% discount from face value.
2. 2,000,000 SCR at the rate of SCR = $0.75. A total of $1.5 million - 25% discount from face value.
3. 3,000,000 SCR at the rate of SCR = 0.9 USD. A total of $2.7 million - 10% discount from face value.
4. 12,000,000 SCR at the rate of SCR = 1 USD. A total of $12 million - face value.
Accepted payment: ETH, BTC
Minimum transaction limit: no restrictions
Maximum transaction limit: no restrictions
Distribution of funds:
Token Issue Date: May 2018
Vesting: Tokens allocated to the team (in the amount of 470,000) will be paid as bonus to the salary until the amount is fully spent.
Escrow: No data available
Description of the services and scope of the project
The content of the Scorum platform will be created by users themselves. Authors will be able to submit articles, post photos and use various tools from the stats center; other users will be able to vote and comment on the created content and receive a reward for this. The amount of remuneration for authors and upvoters will depend on Voting Power (VP) - this is a dynamic parameter that every user possesses, and it is directly dependent and equal to the amount of a user's SP. VP is spent when voting (up to 5%); this is restored within five days.
The amount of remuneration will be charged to the created content; this will depend on the amount of VP given for the post and will be distributed depending on the order of voting and time since publication.
As noted earlier, SP tokens will be used only within the platform; they cannot be transferred between users or exchanged for another cryptocurrency. SP will be emitted as new users are registered; the maximum planned volume of tokens is 10 000 000 copies.
The exchange rate for SP to SCR will be fixed - one SP token will be equal to one SCR token. SCR tokens can be instantly exchanged for SP within the platform but the reverse conversion will be possible only in equal parts within 12 months and it will be available only after the introduction of internal advertising on the platform.
SP token emission:
2.1 million SP - registration bonus.
3.84 million SP - payments for content creation, commenting and voting.
3 million SP - to founders.
0.1 million SP - to Steemit users.
0.48 million SP - to delegates.
0.48 million SP – to active SP holders.
If portal functions are used, SCR is needed for the following:
Purchase of goods and services of partners.
Settlements for internal advertising.
Purchase of SP.
According to the development schedule, the blog platform will be launched in May 2018. Currently, it is at the development stage; in the future the following functions for users will be available:
Widgets that display data from the stats center which authors can add to articles in a few clicks.
Integrated photostock for the use of images in publications.
Built-in sports analytics, where interactive visualizations based on BI services can be created in a visual editor.
The launch of the betting exchange is planned in June 2018; it will not be a source of income but a marketing tool to attract a broader audience and stimulating the growth of coins.
Currently, a beta version of the stats center has been developed on which football sports stats are available.
The fantasy sports platform will be launched in December 2017; the development of the beta version is already almost complete.
Based on the technology of artificial intelligence, it is also planned to develop sports chat bots, forecasting systems, analysis of sports texts, etc. In addition, users will be able to use such functions as buying various products from partners, for example, tickets, sports attributes or online broadcasts.
As part of the Microsoft BizSpark program of supporting startups, Scorum receives loans on the Azure cloud service. The Power BI set of business intelligence tools is being implemented. Later, after the launch of the project, it is planned to implement other solutions from Microsoft, such as box solutions in the field of AI, and to receive support from Microsoft in market promotion. The introduction of similar services from Google and IBM is also planned.
Engineering features of the project
The blockchain of the Scorum platform will be built on the Graphene system. The work is based on the DPOS (Delegated Proof of Stake) algorithm. When this algorithm is functioning, transaction blocks are created and signed by a limited number of delegates which users choose. The main features of this protocol are:
All users can participate in making decisions about system management by voting for delegates.
Relative centralization of management. A small number of delegates.
21 delegates are selected on the Scorum blockchain, 20 of which are selected according to the choice of users, and 1 is from the candidate queue with the largest number of SP. Delegates will receive a reward for the production of blocks. The distribution scheme for the production of blocks between delegates is based on NTP technology.
A Docker client image is available for review, testing and download on GitHub.
To increase the speed of work, effective search and attraction of the necessary scalable computing resources, the founders are implementing solutions based on the services of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform:
Sport and related competitions, broadcasts, media, attributes and other areas of this sphere are an integral part of many people's lives. According to individual studies, the percentage of the population that belongs to the fan community remains unchanged over time. At the same time, the industry is developing and changing, and therefore a platform with a new look can confidently claim success.
The chart below illustrates the percentage of sports fans in different countries. Based on the population of these countries, we can conclude that there are more than 1.2 billion sports fans worldwide.
A narrower audience relevant to the project is sports website visitors. According to Facebook stats, the largest three sports groups on this social medium with the largest number of subscribers together have more than 40 million followers. Let us single out a few countries with their own results. 3 top sports media in the US have coverage of 16.3 million subscribers, Canada - 1.3 million, the United Kingdom - 23.8 million, etc. These examples show that the market for sports online publications presented just on Facebook has a very broad audience coverage in the main regions the project is aimed at from the start.
As an example, we can also cite the stats for visits to several popular sports resources with a different focus which demonstrate that sports websites can successfully attract large audiences, with a number of visits of about 40 million or more per month [https://www.similarweb.com/website/si.com, https://www.similarweb.com/website/skysports.com, https://www.similarweb.com/website/championat.com].
The project aims at attracting about 10 million active users over 3 years. As can be seen from the survey, the target market gives every chance for success in the event of community interest in the Scorum project. This can also be expected through the example of the Steemit project, which is the ideological inspiration for Scorum from the point of view of using blockchain technology and its domestic economy. The project has demonstrated its consistency which means that its model is viable.
Competitors and competitive advantages of the project
The project has no direct competitors yet, but the Scorum team will have to do a lot of work in order to entice users of existing sports resources and the sports segment of the Steemit audience.
The key advantage of Scorum over regular sports websites will be a reward system based on blockchain which will enable authors of articles and active commentators to earn money. In our opinion, this factor could really become a serious incentive for new users to join the project.
In addition, the founders state that the stats center and its betting functionality will also attract new participants. We believe that game stats collection service does not represent a strong competitive advantage since this tool is rather widely represented on many other resources, and the betting exchange can even have an opposite result as discussed in the next chapter in more detail.
As practice shows, a topical blog may be more attractive to readers interested in its specialization than general site so Scorum, in our opinion, will also quite successfully compete for a part of Steemit readers. Moreover, the emission of tokens has strictly limited volume and with an increase in the number of platform users the cost of SCR will inevitably grow.
We distinguish 4 main risk factors for the project which are related to features of using the platform, the opportunity to bet on sports, the ability for someone to create a similar-functioning project on an existing platform and overestimated hard cap.
Firstly, the project economy is built on a non-trivial scheme with two tokens in use - SCR and SP. For an informed user it will not be difficult to understand why this separation is necessary and what pluses it brings. On the other hand, such complexity can slow the growth in popularity of the project and frighten users which are unfamiliar with cryptocurrency.
Secondly, it is planned to allow sports fans to bet on sports within the Scorum platform after a while. This idea is complicated by the fact that online betting is completely banned in some countries or it is necessary to obtain a special license for the conduct of such activities. Moreover, there is no understanding of how legislation will develop in different jurisdictions in terms of using cryptocurrency. According to the CEO, project lawyers are active in obtaining all necessary permits; however, in our opinion, the mass licensing of online betting with the use of cryptocurrency is hardly a matter for the near future.
Thirdly, there is a risk that popular sports resources with an active audience that creates content will take advantage of the project’s ideas and add their own similar functions. In this case, it will be difficult for the project to occupy a niche in this segment at the world level since in each country their own successful players will borrow ideas from Scorum’s functionality and the project will miss the opportunity to enter their market as a fundamentally new product and, accordingly, reach the desired scale.
Fourth, we believe that the hard cap of $17m is significantly overstated, which carries the risk of subsequent depreciation of token price for potential investors. To our request for calculations proving the need for such an amount for implementation, the founders responded that for the full development of announced functionality they will require three-year funding of a staff of 55 people, in 5 departments. 8 people in design department, 16 in front end development, 9 in back end development, 14 in blockchain development and 8 management personnel. In our opinion, such a large expenditure on the project development carries absolutely unjustified risk.
The core team consists of six people, four of whom are co-founders. Based on the experience of participants, it can be concluded that this team is able to build with an effective division of responsibility, which can positively affect the results.
Vladislav Artemyev: Co-Founder, CEO. Blockchain and AI evangelist. An IT executive with over 12 years of experience. Founder of the most popular fantasy sports Russian community.
Nikolai Pobol: Co-Founder, Operations Manager. The first private investor and business angel for Scorum, currently responsible for ensuring efficiency and effectiveness of the company.
Andrei Filipovich: Co-Founder, User Experience Director. Over 10 years of experience in UX/UI. Worked with Google, Thomson Reuters, IMAX etc, and hold a position of a Lead Experience Designer at Epam Systems.
Alexei Belov: Co-Founder, Chief Sports Analyst. More than 8 years of experience as a professional sports journalist and editor with over 500 publications. Expert in sports stats analysis.
Alex Shkor: CTO, Blockchain Architect. A blockchain and scalable applications expert with over 11 years in software development, including 4 years as a CTO. Decentralized systems evangelist.
Andrew Avdeev: Head of Web Development. Full-stack developer with over 6 years of experience as a team lead. An expert in implementing cutting-edge technologies and solutions.
Project advisors are:
Julian Zegelman: Corporate Attorney, Partner at Velton-Zegelman PC. San Francisco based attorney assisting clients with diverse business needs, represents entrepreneurs and startups, as well as venture funds and angel investors. Served as token issuer's counsel in multiple ICO's.
Sergey Brui: Executive director of Vizor Games. Founder of Vizor Games, one of the leading social game development companies in Eastern Europe. Winner of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year-2016 in the "Rapid Growth" nomination.
Viktor Kuzmin: CTO at Vizor Games. Director of Technology at Vizor Games for over 7 years. Has completed over 15 successful projects in game development industry.
Alexander Amosov: Managing Partner at Oaklins Latum. Alexander brings in extensive corporate finance expertise, has a track record conducting M&A transactions and experience raising debt and equity capital.
Timofey Mozgov: Professional Athlete. NBA champion, Summer Olympics and EuroBasket bronze medal winner. Played for Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Alexander Hleb: Professional Athlete. UEFA Champions League, La Liga, Copa del Rey and Football League Cup winner. Played for FC Barcelona, Arsenal F.C., VfB Stuttgart and VfL Wolfsburg.
Anton Kulichkin: Blockchain Evangelist. Co-founder of BugBounty.Center. 13 years of experience in Investments and Finance. Successful in managing a team of up to 200 people. Raised over $100 million in FinTech. Initiated smart contract legalization in Belarus and Russia.
There are 18 more employees besides the main members. Staff could increase in number if SCR tokens are successfully sold on the crowdsale.
Project development strategy and Roadmap
Europe and North America were chosen as strategic markets for the launch of the project.
Various structural parts of the project differ in their degrees of completeness. The founders have a firm intention to launch the first version of Scorum as early as the beginning of 2018. The primary functionality will include a platform for blogging with an integrated reward system.
Currently, the stats center for football has been developed, which will be launched later. It will be added to other popular world sports.
The plan for launching the services of the project has the following form:
December 2017: Fantasy sports platform prototype.
March 2018: Blockchain and online wallet launch.
April 2018: Fantasy sports platform with SCR integration.
May 2018: The Scorum blogging platform with its integrated reward distribution system goes live. Microsoft’s Power BI integration goes public.
June 2018: The betting exchange will open so that users can bet without commission.
July 2018: The advertising system will be implemented, with 40% of ad revenue directed to the SCR Activity Reward pool.
September 2018: Sports data visualizations for the blogging platform will go live with an integrated photo database MVP.
October 2018: Adding the most popular USA sports leagues to the stats center.
It is important to remember that according to the planned schedule, intra-platform advertising will be launched from July 2018. From this moment it will be possible to exchange SP back to SCR in equal parts within 12 months.
The target audience for the Scorum project is sports lovers from 18 to 40 years old, sports journalists and representatives of the sports market and media who can use the platform to contact their customers.
The founders share the opinion that sports media are very much fragmented now. Content is consumed by users from a variety of sources using various devices. However, there are no platforms where active users can express their thoughts and get paid for it. It becomes possible to implement this principle due to blockchain technology.
To attract new users, the project has several main channels. The main PR channel will be advertising through sports personalities which, as stated, are multiplying in number. This will allow direct access to the target audience, i.e. to people who are interested in sports. After launching the platform, sportsmen will keep their blogs there and refer to Scorum in other media. There is an optimistic bounty program for the first billion users. It is important to note that these users must be active. Otherwise, their bonuses from the bounty program in the form of SP tokens will gradually burn. As Steemit is the inspiration for the project, a bonus pool of SP tokens of $1 million is also provided to attract users of this service.
According to the founders, the project has agreements with sports federations about marketing partnerships which will advertise Scorum after the launch of the product. There is active work ongoing with future authors and users in specially created Telegram channels and publics. The authors need to fill the platform with interesting content. The reward system involves large payments to established authors so they have serious motivation to participate in the project from the very beginning. The feedback from authors and users makes it possible to get a clearer picture of the needs of future platform participants.
Currently, the project has only minor coverage in the main popular media. The Facebook group has just over 36,000 subscribers. On Bitcointalk the discussion extends to 17 pages and has more than 6,800 readings. On Twitter, the project is reaching about 3,000 people and there are about 700 participants on the Telegram channel. At the same time, the activity is rather low which can indicate weak interest of participants in the project. However, it is more than a month before the start of the ICO and the team has enough time to fix this situation.
The key partner for the project in terms of IT infrastructure is Microsoft. The Microsoft Corporation provides loans to the project via its Azure cloud service. The founders claim that when Scorum implements Microsoft boxed solutions including AI, the marketing cross-promotion of shares will be conducted.
Economy of the Project
Cash flows for project maintenance will be created from advertising within the platform, the sale of partner products (live broadcasts, event tickets, sports merchandise and other sporting goods) and in the form of a reward for the use of images uploaded to the photo stock of the platform. 50% of internal advertising goes to the development of the R&D center and the remaining 50% is allocated to SCR activity reward pool, to active holders of SP tokens, to witnesses (users who sign the blocks) and to a Scorum charity initiative in the proportion of 40% / 5% / 4% / 1%. When buying goods and services from partners, participants receive a discount if the transactions are made in SCR (partner conditions and discounts are set individually). Payment for the use of photos is distributed in such way that photographer gets 80% of SCR, 10% goes to photographer reward pool and 10% goes to Scorum. Income distribution of various reward pools is based on user activity and the number of technical SP tokens.
The main costs for the project are directed to development within the R&D center and advertising with sports celebrities. According to the founders, the project model assumes the content of R&D center in one of the most profitable regions for this purpose, in Belarus, and $500K per year will be enough for the maintenance of a small team. The project has been developing the product for a long time and $800K raised during the pre-sale will be enough for launching the blockchain. High interest in the project and the achievement of the hard cap at $17 million will make it possible to implement the entire planned platform functionality.
Unfortunately, the founders do not cite an economic model for project development in which the projected distribution of resources are described in detail. Due to this, it is not possible to evaluate:
how funds raised during the ICO will be distributed.
on what and in what proportion they will go.
how will the functionality depend on the success of the crowdsale.
how will timing of the implementation of the planned goals change (or not) depending on the success of the crowdsale.
If the timing of the project is guided by the roadmap, it is not possible to build other forecasts and assumptions.
Token investment attractiveness
The project economy and the roadmap are built in such way to ensure stable development in the long term.
The marketing strategy of attracting new users through well-known sports personalities allows us to hope that the platform will soon be able to attract its first active users, who will start generating platform content. It is reasonable to assume that this will be a relatively calm and stable period since users will get used to the new platform and expect its full functionality to be launched later. Factors that will slow down the growth of SCR value in the first year include the additional sale of SCR that were not implemented on crowdsale by the founders via exchanges, to attract additional financing. As for the demand drivers at this stage, it is possible to single out the following: To increase its importance in the system and, accordingly, the profits, active users will have to convert SCR to SP without the possibility of reverse exchange until the launch of advertising within the platform. This fact will create a basic demand for SCR.
After launching advertising within the Scorum platform, the reverse exchange of SP to SCR will be available. It would seem that this process can blur the amount of SCR, which will lead to their depreciation. However, within the framework of the Scorum platform, such an exchange is possible only in equal portions within 12 months, i.e. full conversion of the claimed amount of SP into SCR will occur only a year after initialization. On the other hand, SCR demand for advertisers will act as a counterweight and increase the rate for SCR. Based on the logic of the system and the built-in motivation for users, the desire of large active participants to suddenly convert all SP to SCR should not take place due to additional profits from advertisers proportional to the number of SP available on accounts.
According to the service’s development plan, soon after the addition of advertising a visualization service and a stats center will be launched, where all the most popular sports leagues in the USA will be added. From that moment, the second stage of platform development will begin. These services will create additional interest in the functionality of the platform, which should entail both the registration of new participants in the ecosystem and the inflow of promotional money from partners. There are reasons to believe that in the first few months after the presentation of this functionality, user reaction will already be understood, which will determine the success of the platform. If this functionality shows itself as intuitively understandable and convenient, the basis for long-term stable growth of the platform will be laid.